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( 362 ) 

IV. — Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

Two expeditions, each of great interest, have been sent, within 
the present year, into the interior of South Africa. One has been 
fitted out under the superintendence of a Committee of Gentle- 
men residing at the Cape of Good Hope, from funds subscribed for 
the purpose chiefly in that colony. The other is sent out by the 
Royal Geographical Society ; and is one of two, for which it has 
obtained the countenance and patronage of His Majesty's Go- 

The scale of these two African Expeditions is different, as is, 
in a considerable degree, their object. That from the Cape con- 
sists of a numerous party, well provided with instruments and 
articles of trade ; its object being not so much to penetrate to a 
great distance beyond the limits of the Cape colony (though, 
should circumstances prove favourable, it is not debarred from 
doing this), as to complete the knowledge already gained of the 
more nearly conterminous countries, and thus enable the Cape 
merchants more exactly to appreciate their commercial capabilities. 
That from the Geographical Society, on the contrary, consists of 
only one adventurous traveller, Captain Alexander, furnished, 
however, with the means of equipping a suitable party to accom- 
pany him from the Cape ; and his object is purely that of the 
pioneer, to push beyond previous lines, and bring away such in- 
formation (correct, as far as it goes, but comprehensive rather 
than minute) as may enable other and better appointed travellers 
to follow in his steps. 

In some respects, however, both expeditions are alike. They 
are both chiefly fitted out at private expense ; and while they 
cannot but both benefit science, they may both also prove means 
of extending the commercial relations of the country. This last 
is the avowed object of the first of them ; but it has not less 
weighed with those who have chiefly contributed to organize the 

The first expedition left the Cape, some months ago, under the 
charge and direction of Dr. Smith, well known in that colony for 
his talents and acquirements. We are thus enabled to add to the 
Copy of his Instructions, which we subjoin, the latest information 
received from him since his departure. Captain Alexander can 
only now be arriving at the Cape ; nor can he even commence his 
ulterior operations till Aprir next: We must, therefore, be con- 
tent with merely inserting his instructions. 

Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 363 

Instructions to Dr. Andrew Smith, {or the) Director (for the time 
being) of the Expedition into Central Africa. 

" Sir, — In offering to you certain general instructions for the pur- 
pose of elucidating their views as to the object and conduct of the enter- 
prise committed to your direction, the committee of management take 
the earliest opportunity of expressing their confident reliance on your 
zeal, talents, and experience, as of themselves enabling you to appre- 
hend and provide for the proper object and most beneficial detail in 
such an undertaking ; and they therefore expect that you should not 
consider yourself bound by any decision of theirs, to adopt or reject, 
in deference to their opinion, any measures of which their views at 
present do not coincide with the judgment you may be led to form in 
your progress. 

" They feel certain, moreover, that any measure which you may 
conceive it necessary to adopt amid the unforeseen occurrences of this 
enterprise, will meet with approbation from the shareholders. As, 
however, amid the incidents to be considered and provided for as con- 
tingent, the expedition may be deprived of your services, it is the 
wish of the committee that the intention and the proper course of 
proceeding, as far as such can be determined at present, should be 
defined and rendered familiar to the parties composing the expedition. 

" It is to be hoped that this may be only the first of a series of efforts 
prosecuted by the same means, and deriving their support from the 
same sources ; but the fulfilment of this expectation must evidently 
depend in a great degree on its success. We cannot expect that our 
limited colonial society should feel justified in supporting any measure 
tending to sacrifice its valuable members and waste its resources, for 
objects solely of contingent and distant benefit, should it happen that 
the consequences of this endeavour confirm the impression of peril 
attendant on the view generally taken of it. However wide and pro- 
mising, therefore, may be the views of benefit we entertain as about 
to arise from the knowledge we may gather, or the means and sources 
of commercial and scientific enterprise which the expedition may 
unveil, these views must be held in subservience to the recollection 
that the unimpeded piogress and absolute safety of this one is of 
paramount importance as a guide, model, and inducement to others : 
this, therefore, is ever to be kept in view, and first considered in all 
its undertakings ; and any measure obviously unsafe, even though its 
advantages, supposing it successful, should seem to be many and 
eminent, ought to be carefully avoided. While our failure would, by 
its effects on society here, necessarily damp our prospects of future 
benefit, it is to be apprehended that it would also have a disastrous 
influence on the natives to be visited. Even disaster from natural 
causes might diminish the impression of European skill and power ; 
and, acting on the excited superstition of the savage, might quench 
his desire for our intercourse ; and should it arise from the rapacious 
ferocity of the native tribes, it would erect a more serious obstacle to 
future progress in their gratified appetite for plunder and their jealousy 

364 Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

of retaliation. These views should inspire especial caution in regard 
to every proceeding, or even verbal inquiry among tribes where it is 
to be suspected that such lamentable incidents have already occurred. 
The impression of its safe advance and return, and of any benefits it 
may confer on those whom it visits, will unquestionably proceed far 
in advance of its presence, and necessarily subdue or weaken those 
obstacles which may at present restrain its proceedings within regions 
where the colonial influence may be in some respects considered as 
overlooking its movements and watching for its safety. 

" Our inquiries lead us to anticipate that the natives of the interior 
districts adjoining this colony are generally disposed to welcome the 
approach of travellers, and to treat them respectfully; lest, however, 
the opportunity of easily acquiring by plunder what they exceedingly 
covet should prove too tempting for their respect or caution, it is 
requisite that such an apparent preparation to repel assault should be 
preserved as may render it obviously perilous to the assailants ; sepa- 
ration of the party must therefore be avoided when holding inter- 
course with them, and if a division should be unavoidable, the main 
body must be kept in sufficient strength, and held in readiness to aid 
the detachments or serve as a refuge for them. It will best accord 
with the object of the expedition, that not only every reasonable pro- 
bability of avoiding collision should be shunned, but that all scenes 
and situations offering any likelihood of its occurrence should be well 
examined before they are approached. 

" It will be inconsistent with any beneficial result, that, in its pro- 
gress outwards, the expedition should force its way through the 
territory of any tribe disposed to resist it : if no persuasive means be 
found of avail to overcome their repugnance, the advance in that 
direction must cease : it is only in case of the party being itself at- 
tacked, or being beset by a force showing an obvious disposition to 
assail it, and a determination to oppose its progress in any direction, 
or in case of the defiles of a territory being occupied and closed 
against its return, that the committee can reckon it justifiable to ex- 
ercise upon the lives or persons of the natives those formidable means 
of warfare with which the expedition has been furnished. It will be 
proper that each individual attached to the expedition should have a 
determinate station, in which it is expected that he shall be found in 
cases of emergency ; and it will be well that the measures necessary 
to be adopted should be fully illustrated and impressed upon all by 
such previous training as circumstances may admit of. 

" In regard to the territory the expedition is to visit, there are two 
methods in which it may arrive at beneficial results : it may either 
sweep rapidly over a great length of country, with the object of 
attaining the most distant point which the time allotted to it or the 
duration of its resources may enable it to reach ; or it may leisurely 
examine in detail, throughout its length and breadth, the condition, 
capabilities, and productions of a district of more manageable dimen- 
sions. The committee conceives that the former might be perhaps 
the more interesting method of proceeding, on account of the greater 

Expeditions into the Interior of South, Africa. 365 

probability of romantic peril, adventure, or discovery ; but that these 
very circumstances of greater uncertainty and danger do, in this case, 
preclude our aiming at the comparatively barren honour of exciting 
wonder, and of throwing a partial and obscure light on an extended 
region. The committee therefore assumes that the last-mentioned of 
the two courses is, in all respects, more accordant with the views 
and interests of the subscribers, as expressed in the prospectus ; 
and it therefore recommends that no endeavour be made to penetrate 
beyond the parallel of 20° south latitude, and that the attempt to 
reach that parallel be made only if, in the first place, circumstances 
favour it greatly, and, secondly, if the intervening districts do not 
afford objects of sufficient interest and importance to occupy the 
attention of the expedition. The territory limited by that boundary 
is about four times the extent of the British Islands. It is in truth 
to be anticipated that the wide regions between the Cape territory 
and the Southern Tropic will have sufficient extent and variety for the 
time and resources to be employed in our present undertaking. It 
will, therefore, be advisable that the expedition consider Klaar Water 
(Griqua Town), or Lattakoo, as the starting point or base of their 
operations, and that its first effort be the examination of the district 
from which issue the northern branches of the Gariep and the streams 
which fall down to the Indian Ocean : that then the dividing ridge be 
traced towards the north, leaving it to the discretion of the director 
to determine at what parallel he should change his course, to the 
north or west. Our present information leads us to esteem it ad- 
visable that the eastern side of the slope be examined first, in order 
that if the great desert of Challahenga should extend far to the east- 
ward, so as to bar the progress of the expedition towards the centre 
of the continent, there may remain the unexplored territory along 
the western slope to occupy its attention in returning. Much of the 
ultimate importance and interest, as well as the security of guidance 
and prospect of safe return of the expedition, will of course depend 
on obtaining an exact knowledge and preserving a faithful record of 
its route, which can only be done by the aid of astronomical obser- 
vations made with due regularity and precaution, not only at such 
stations as form the most interesting features at the moment, in the 
eyes of those concerned, but at every station where the expedition 
may rest long enough to permit observations to be taken deliberately, 
and with due regard to safety both of the observer and instruments. 
The track of a caravan on land, as of a ship at sea, is defined as 
well by the less as the more remarkable points through which it 
passes, and it may very easily happen that stations of the highest 
interest in a commercial, political, or physical point of view, may, by 
reason of that very interest, be inappropriate for selection as prin- 
cipal observing stations, either from the attention of every individual 
being distracted to duties of immediate necessity, or from the risk 
attending the exhibition of instruments in the unavoidable presence 
of a rude, curious, and suspicious population. In all such cases it 
will be proper to connect, by observations of a less elaborate nature, 

366 Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

those stations with others not far distant, which, although less intrin* 
sically important, may be easier of exact determination. The com- 
mittee would therefore recommend, that stations of observation be 
classed as either primary or secondary: those to be considered primary 
stations whenever the circumstances may appear particularly favour- 
able, by reason of leisure from other occupations, expected duration 
of halt, and freedom from annoyance, to afford a good determination 
of the longitude and latitude, such as may serve to render them useful 
for zero points, to which the secondary stations may be referred, 
either by dead reckoning of time and distance or by such less elabo- 
rate observations as can be obtained at the secondary stations them- 
selves. Of icourse, however, should circumstances permit, the more 
important in other respects the point which can be made a primary 
observing station the better, and the committee would expressly 
notice Griqua Town, Lattakoo, Kurrechane, and Meletta, as points 
of which the geographical position should be determined with care by 
observations on the spot, and the observations then made transmitted 
home along with the latest communications with the colony. Since, 
however, the circumstances which may render stations objectionable 
as primary points are mostly of a moral or political nature, it is ex- 
pected that no great difficulty will occur in fixing them at positions 
of especial geographical interest, as at the confluence of rivers, at 
the extreme borders or on the culminating points of mountain ranges, 
on remarkable rocks, &c, or at least of determining their bearings 
and relative situations with respect to such prominent features, with 
some degree of exactness. A combination of circumstances of this 
kind of local interest will of course have its due weight in determining 
(cceteris paribus) the halt of the expedition. 

" At primary stations the committee recommend the assiduous ap- 
plication of every instrumental means for the determination of the 
three elements of latitude, longitude, and elevation above the level 
of the sea; and especially, at such stations, as many series of lunar 
distances as possible should be procured in addition to the usual sights 
for time, (or observations of the altitudes of heavenly bodies near 
the prime vertical,) which, together with meridian observations for 
the latitude, they would recommend to be practised daily as a matter 
of regular duty, at every station, as well primary as secondary. At 
primary stations also the barometer and thermometer should be ob- 
served at regular intervals, and the magnetic variation ascertained 
by taking the sun's azimuth immediately before and after the observation 
for time — (noting the exact moments, and thus obtaining data for inter- 
polating to the time of observation). At such stations likewise a careful 
investigation of the index errors of sextants should be made, the 
zero points or index corrections of the sympiesometer should be de- 
termined by leisurely comparison with the mountain barometer, 
(giving time for the instruments to attain the same temperature,) 
and the difference noted in the 'observation-books. The necessity of 
frequent comparisons of these instruments will be apparent if it be 
considered that in the event of fracture of the barometer tube, no 

Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 367 

other means will exist by which the zero point of a new one can be 
determined. Occultatipns of stars by the moon, and, if possible, 
eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter, should be observed whenever an 
opportunity may occur. The former especially, affording the best 
known method of ascertaining the longitude by a single observation, 
should be constantly borne in mind, and the almanac consulted several 
days in advance, so that no occultation of a large star certainly iden- 
tifiable should be allowed to escape through inadvertence. 

" The committee especially recommend that every observation 
made should be registered in a book devoted to that purpose, and 
preserved in the exact terms of the readings off" of the instruments and 
chronometers, and kept rigorously separate in its statement from any 
calculation thereon grounded, and that the observed or presumed 
index or zero corrections, whether of chronometer, sextant, baro- 
meter, or other instrument, should be stated separately in every case, 
and on no account incorporated with observed quantities, and, more- 
over, that the observations upon which such index errors have been 
concluded should also be preserved. Since, however, the guidance 
of the expedition will necessitate the calculation of many observa- 
tions on the spot, the results of such calculations should be entered 
(as such) beside the observation from which they have been con- 

" The committee further recommend, that the chronometers with 
which the expedition has been provided by the liberality of his Ma- 
jesty's Government should on no account be corrected by moving the, 
hands, however great their errors may become, not even in the ex- 
treme case of one or both of them having been allowed to run down. 
In case of such a misfortune (which should be most carefully guarded 
against, by making it the daily duty of more than one person to re- 
mind their bearers to wind them at a stated hour) it will be most 
convenient in place of setting them, to defer winding them until the 
hours and minutes come round, at which they may respectively have 
stopped, as near as may be ascertained from one to the other, or from 
both, to other watches of the party, and such event, should it take 
place, should be conspicuously noted in the observation-book ; and, 
as a further and useful precaution, it is recommended to keep some 
of the best-going watches belonging to individuals of the expedition 
to mean Greenwich time, by frequent comparison with one of the 
chronometers. In every case where time is observed, express men- 
tion should be made of the chronometer or other watch employed, 
designating it by -the maker's name and number, so that no uncer- 
tainty may ever arise as to the proper application of the correction 
for error and rate. 

" The rates of the chronometers should be examined at any station 
where the expedition may rest two or more consecutive nights, either 
by equal altitudes of a star, or more simply by noticing the disappear- 
ance of any large fixed star from the same exact point of view, behind 
the edge of a board fixed at some considerable distance in, the horizon, 
and having its edge adjusted to a vertical position by a plumb-line ; 
the interval between the two such disappearances being an exact 

368 Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

sidereal day, or 23 h. 56 m. 4 sec. mean time. Under the head of secon- 
dary observing stations may be classed those in which no lunar dis- 
tances can be got, and when the sights for time and meridian altitude 
can only be superficially and imperfectly taken, or one without the 
other. With a view to the connexion of these with the primary 
station, and to the sketching out a chart of the country passed through, 
at every primary station a series of angles should be taken with the 
sextant between remarkable and well-defined points in the horizon, 
dividing the horizon into convenient portions, and carrying the angles 
all round the circle back to the point of departure : and in the selec- 
tion of such points two ends should be kept in view, first, the precise 
identification of the point of observation, in case of its being desirable 
to find it again; and, secondly, the determination from it of geogra- 
phical points. The first of these purposes will require angles to be 
taken between near, the second between distant objects. For the 
latter, of course, remarkable mountain peaks will, if possible, be 
chosen. Of such, when once observed, the appearances from the 
place of observation should be projected by the Camera Ludda, and 
their changes of aspect and form, as the expedition advances, should 
be well and carefully noticed, to avoid mistakes. The approximate 
distance of any remarkable object may be had by pacing, or otherwise 
measuring more exactly, a base line of a few hundred paces, in a 
direction perpendicular to that in which it appears, erecting a staff 
at each end, and from each staff measuring the angle between the 
object and the other staff. 

" In this manner the neighbourhood of any station may be mapped 
down so as to be available for many useful purposes. In all such 
cases the compass bearings of the most important object in the horizon 
should be taken, and in the absence of the sextant angles, azimuth 
compass readings of each point may be substituted, though of course 
with less precision. 

" Indications of the progress of the expedition should be left at 
various points in its course, by making marks on rocks or stones, &c. 
and by burying documents in bottles. In regard to the latter, it will 
be necessary to deposit them one foot deep at some known distance, 
say fifteen feet from a conspicuous surface of stone, on which there 
is painted a circle containing the distance and bearing by compass of 
the bottle, from its centre, and that the situation of such places of 
deposit should also be ascertained by exact compass bearings of se- 
veral remarkable points in the horizon, both near and distant, as well 
as by angles between them, carefully determined with a sextant, and 
noted down in the journals of the expedition for their own reference 
or that of future travellers. 

" In surveying the basin of a river, or in proceeding along the 
prevailing slope of a country, it is very desirable to determine as 
many points as possible on the same level, and form thus as it were a 
parallel of elevation to the level of the sea. A line of this kind traced 
at the altitude of, say 1000 feet, would determine in a considerable 
degree the physical condition of extensive spaces on the map on both 
sides of it. The stations of most interest will be found at the extre- 

Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 369 

raities of transverse arms of the ridge, or in the central and most 
retiring points of the intervening spaces. Let the general slope of 
the country on both sides of such stations, be noted as to its rate and 
direction ; and in regard to the valleys which intersect the slope, let 
their width, direction, and general rate of declivity, and the section 
and velocity of their streams, be ascertained, and the probable course 
of the rivers, as far as it can be determined by the appearance of the 
country and the reports of the natives, giving them the aboriginal 
names when they can be discovered. The altitude and acclivity of 
remarkable peaks or ridges should also be investigated, along with 
the nature of their climate and of the clouds formed upon them. It 
will be requisite also to mark with care the nature of the winds and 
sky as well as the temperature at stations in the neighbourhood, and 
to note the influence which changes of that description have upon the 
barometer, and observe also the temperature of deep pools or lakes 
and copious springs. 

" The geological structure of the country is especially worthy of 
minute and extended observation, and will require that notes be kept 
of all such appearances as indicate or accompany changes of structure 
in the formation, or of components in the soil and surface, especially 
such fossil remains of plants or animals as may occur, and metallic 
ores, and that proper specimens accompany these notes, ticketed on 
the spot with precise localities. 

" The botanical researches of the expedition will extend to the 
preservation of specimens of plants not found in the colony, and 
especially of transportable roots, and the seeds of all such as may be 
found in a ripened state, noting localities and the varieties of aspect 
which vegetation puts on in different situations. In regard to 
other branches of natural history, as it is obvious that after a short 
experience of research under your direction, almost every one will 
be able to recognise and preserve what is rare or novel, no further 
instruction need be given, except the general expression of the 
desire of the committee that all shall endeavour to secure for the 
expedition whatever in any department they esteem valuable, it being 
expressly understood that every article collected by each individual 
belongs in property to the subscribers to the expedition collectively. 

" In regard to the inhabitants themselves, it is of paramount in- 
terest to gain an exact portrait of their life as respects their condition, 
arts, and policy, their language, their external appearance, popula- 
tion, origin, and relation to other tribes, or in general whatever tends 
to elucidate their disposition, or resources, as sharers or agents in 
commerce, or their preparation to receive Christianity. 

" It will be proper to ascertain their religious traditions or prac- 
tices, if they have any, distinguishing what is indigenous from the 
glimmering apprehension of great religious truths which necessarily 
spreads in advance of the scenes of missionary labour. 

" Examine also the state of their intellect generally, as exemplified 
in their social and political arrangements and common traditions, 
songs, or amusements, and particularly in regard to their knowledge 

VOL. iv. 2 B 

370 Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

of nature, and their notions of its vast and varied proceedings, as 
thunder, rain, wind, &c. 

" Inquiries respecting commerce, and the prospect of its extension, 
are to be viewed as of no small importance in this undertaking. 
Every means must be used to ascertain its present nature, channels, 
and extent, and to determine the existing demand for foreign commo- 
dities, and the return which may be expected for them. Proper in- 
quiries may also lead to some satisfactory views of its future condi- 
tion, as indicated by the wants of the native population, or the objects 
of most importance to improve their condition, and the corresponding 
resources for exchange which may arise from a more beneficial em- 
ployment of their industry. 

" Lastly, we may notice the propriety of making inquiries or ga- 
thering information with respect to similar enterprises, as whether 
the natives have traditions of movements of their own, or of the 
arrival of strangers among them. All that can be gathered respect- 
ing Dr. Cowan's expedition will be acceptable in the highest degree. 
The elucidation of an isolated effort to struggle through the diffi- 
culties of African travelling should also be kept in view : it was 
made by a missionary of the name of Martin, who has not been heard 
of since he crossed the colonial boundary in December, 1831. He is 
consequently supposed to have perished in the Gariep, or to have 
been destroyed on its banks, though as it was his intention to avoid 
the establishments of Europeans or their lines of communications, 
there is a lingering possibility of his still surviving. 

"The articles fitted for carrying on commerce with the natives 
have three distinct objects ; — First, by keeping up a constant appear- 
ance of traffick, to present in their eyes an appreciable motive for 
this visit to their territory ; second, to conciliate favour, or to pro- 
cure provisions for the purpose of husbanding the resources of the 
expedition ; and third, for the purpose of procuring any profitable 
articles to carry on to the other districts for the ends abovementioned, 
or to sell in the colony at the termination of the enterprise. In 
regard to these the Committee has to remark, that attention to the 
two first -mentioned objects is indispensable, from its necessary con- 
nexion with the safety and efficiency of the expedition, and that the 
third is to be contingent on the acquisitions of the party in regard to 
its main object of collecting information as to the country, and securing 
what illustrates its natural history and resources, and on the state of 
its means of transport. The Committee therefore recommend that 
this third object be attended to only in case that it be necessary to 
send waggons back for supplies, or in case that in the homeward pro- 
gress of the party there be room for such articles without incom- 
moding it in its other operations. 
(Signed) Thomas Wade, Chairman, A. J. Cloete, 

J. Hesschell, C. F. H. von Ludwig, 

A. Oliphakt, F. S Watermeter, 

James Adamson, D.D. John Centlivres Chase, 

T. M'Lear, Hon. Secretary. 

June 23rd, 1834. 

Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 371 

Report of the Committee of Management of the Cape of Good Hope 
Association for exploring Central Africa. 

The Committee has much pleasure in announcing to the Sub- 
scribers, the recept of despatches from Dr. A. Smith, dated the 23d 
of September 1834, at Caledon River. 

From these documents it appears that the journey from Graaff 
Reinet to the frontier of the colony, was attended with much hin- 
drance and trouble, owing to the severe drought which has long been 
experienced in that part of the country, and, it is understood, has 
extended very far beyond the colonial boundary. 

Upon the arrival of the exploratory party at Philipolis, a missionary 
station belonging to the London Society, and the assumed capital of 
the Griqua chief, Adam Kok, situated about twenty-five miles to the 
north of the Nu-Gariep or Black (Orange) River, Dr. Smith, from 
the information he there obtained, decided, upon taking an easterly 
route, as the only one at that period practicable, the drought prevent- 
ing a safe access, with ox waggons, to the Bechuana town of Latakoo, 
on the Kuruman River, which it had been proposed to make the start- 
ing point of the expedition. 

Had, however, this difficulty not intervened, Dr. Smith considers 
it highly probable that he should have decided to adopt his present 
intended route, inasmuch as it is extremely desirable that the district 
between the two principal branches of the Orange River should be 
investigated, not only from its contiguity to the colony, but from the 
promise it holds out of very considerable and interesting additions to 
our scientific knowledge. 

The party, therefore, thirty in number, were to cross the Caledon 
River on the day subsequent to the date of the despatches, for the 
purpose of tracing up, in the first place, the country situated between 
theCaledonand Stockenstrom Rivers to their respective sources, thence 
to explore the origin of the Mapoota River, which it is believed takes 
its rise eastwardly of the same Highlands, and falls into De La Goa 
Bay ; and having completed that survey, to stretch across the country 
westward to the Ky-Gariep or Yellow (Orange) River, following it 
down to its confluence with the Hart or Malalareen, somewhere 
about lat. 28° 10', long. 24° 35', and where they would arrive and 
communicate with the colony via Philipolis, in the month of De- 
cember. At this point it was intended to ascertain from the Rev. 
Mr. Moffatt, the intelligent missionary at Latakoo, the state of the 
country northward, and the prospects of the expedition; to bring 
together the stores laid up in reserve at Philipolis ; and there finally 
to arrange the route of the party for its northerly destination, which 
it was expected would then be open in consequence of the periodical 
fall of rains, which would render the country traversable by oxen. 

In the prosecution of the preparatory excursion eastward, Dr. Smith 
anticipated much interest and gratification. By native testimony he 
was assured that the wide Caledon issued at once a perfect river, from 
an enormous spring, on the side of a high mountain, where it was 

2 B 2 

372 Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

nearly as large as at the place where he was then encamped ; the 
probability of which singular circumstance may be credited, from the 
fact that the river at New Latakoo, the Kuruman, gushes, in like 
manner, from its rocky fount, a noble stream, and is at no part 
of its subsequent course of greater size. His route lay first to Mas- 
sus, king of the Basuta tribe of Bechuanas ; thence to the once for- 
midable, but now subdued Mantatees ; and after that to the Kraal of 
a large, but little known, tribe, where twenty-five chiefs were reported 
to reside. He was in the immediate vicinity of the Agate Hills, 
which supply the Orange River with those well known and beautiful 
gems, and he had reason to believe that he would be able to inves- 
tigate the porphyritic formations of its sources, of which so many 
splendid specimens strew the course of that stream. There was also 
considerable prospect of a large supply of ivory obtainable in this 
route, as a return for the trading part of this expedition. 

The following memoranda of the acquirements of the expedition 
are attached to the despatch : — 

About three hundred and fifty specimens of birds, quadrupeds, &c, 
have been preserved. 

Fifty drawings have been completed. 

The history of three Bechuana tribes, viz. : Batlapee, Barralong, 
and Baclarou have been minutely investigated. 

A map of the route from Philipolis to the Caledon River, has been 

The latitude and longitude of eleven stations have been ascertained ; 
— the geological characters of the country, between Graaff-Reinet 
and this station, have been minutely investigated; numerous spe- 
cimens of rocks have been collected ; and the heights of many of 
the mountains and hills, both within and beyond the colony, amongst 
others, the Compass Berg, have been taken. 

Instructions addressed to Captain Alexander. 

« g 1Rj — The council of the Eoyal Geographical Society of London 
having intrusted to you the conduct of an expedition of discovery in 
South Africa, furnish you with the following instructions relating to 
it confining themselves therein to the more important and essential 
conditions of the undertaking, and leaving the minor arrangements to 
your own discretion. They will, however, transmit to you hereafter 
such memoranda and notes of information, or advice, as may seem 
likely to be useful for your further guidance. 

" The interval of seven or eight months which will be spent in the 
voyage out, or in residing at the Cape, may be advantageously em- 
ployed in acquiring expertness in the use of the astronomical and 
other instruments, and in studying the Sichuana language. 

"It is hoped that you will be conveyed in one of his Majesty's 
ships of war to Dalagoa Bay, where it is not desirable that you 
should arrive before the termination of the rains, or the beginning of 
May 1835. 

Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 373 

" The general object of the proposed expedition, is to explore the 
river Manice," which flows into Dalagoa Bay, (and which is named 
by the English King George's River, by the Portuguese and other 
nations Rio del Espiritu Santo), so as to ascertain whether or not it 
be identical with the river of the interior which the Bechuana call the 

"The furthest point of this river explored by Captain Owen, 
is in lat. 25° 21' 10" S., and about long. 32° 51' E. ; being about fifty 
miles from the mouth along its course, but not more than eight from 
the nearest point of the sea-shore. It may, therefore, be advisable 
to land on the coast in about lat. 25° 27' S., and then to strike in 
towards the river, so as to avoid the labour of making up against the 
stream, as well as abridge materially that part of the journey which 
would conduct through a low alluvial soil. 

" On your arrival in the bay, your first care will be to select a 
guide and interpreter, from among the chiefs if possible : this business, 
with the procuring of bullocks to carry your baggage, the choice of a 
place of debarkation, &c, may occasion a delay of a few days ; but promp- 
titude in the selection of your plans, which will materially result from 
previous diligence in collecting information, and the most despatch- 
ful execution of them, consistent with prudence, are especially recom- 
mended to you, as delay on the coast is likely to give rise to numerous 
unforeseen difficulties. 

" The most northern point of the river Mariqua seen by Messrs. 
Scoon and Leckie, is, probably, in lat. 24° 50' S., long. 28° 30' E., 
and, consequently, about 300 miles in a straight line from the far- 
thest explored point of the Manice. If the former of these rivers 
communicates with the latter, the unexplored portion of the con- 
nected stream may possibly form a circuitous course of 360 miles, 
or six weeks' journey ; but how far it may be advisable to shorten the 
route by leaving the circuits of the river, and proceeding directly to 
its upper reaches, as they may be indicated by the natives, will be 
best determined by the circumstances which arise in your progress. 
It would, indeed, be highly desirable to learn the character of the 
river, and to what extent and in what manner it is navigable ; but this 
consideration must be held subordinate to that of safety, in providing 
for which, it will, perhaps, be found expedient to follow the most 
frequented routes, and the line of densest population. The Mariqua 
once reached, the difficulties of the journey may be considered over- 
come, and a few days' march southward will conduct to a missionary 

" The council expect that you will keep an exact register of all 
astronomical and meteorological observations, and that you will note 
carefully the variations of the compass, and the bearings and esti- 
mated distances of every remarkable object in view. 

" In your intercourse with the natives, you are recommended to 
maintain a deportment at once resolute and confiding, to avoid asso- 
ciating with any but chiefs, and to accept, and even press them to an 
exercise of that hospitality which they regard as a moral obligation. 

374 Expeditions into the Interior of South Africa. 

" You are requested not to neglect any opportunity which may 
arise, in the course of your journey, of despatching to the Society's 
correspondent at the Cape, to be forwarded to the Society, an 
assurance of your safety, and an account of your proceedings. 

" The council place at your disposal a letter of credit on Messrs. 
Borradaile and Thompson, at the Cape, for 300/., which sum it is 
expected will be sufficient to defray the expenses of guides, inter- 
preters, the journey through the colony, and the passage home to 
England, as well as to purchase such small additions as may hereafter 
appear necessary to be made to the stock of merchandise with which 
you are already provided. 

(Signed) W. D. Cooley, Hon. Sec. 

To the Committee appointed to organize the Expedition. 

V. — Reports on the Navigation of the Euphrates. By Captain 
(Colonel) Chesney, R.A. London 1833. 

We believe we may announce that, as the present sheet goes to 
press, the last remaining difficulties which delayed the departure 
of the expedition about to endeavour to establish steam navigation 
on the Euphrates, are in the course of removal ; and that its per- 
severing leader is to reap the reward of his labours and exertions, 
by being allowed to make his experiment in his own way. Aud 
we most sincerely rejoice at this. Without presuming to offer 
any opinion on what may appear to us to be the probabilities or 
improbabilities of the substantial success of the enterprise, it is 
impossible not to sympathize with the zeal and confidence which 
animate the adventurous party engaged in it ; and an expedition 
by which science must gain, whatever may be otherwise its results, 
is entitled to the especial good wishes of a literary and scientific 

We have another duty, however, to perform with regard to 
Colonel Chesney, than merely wishing him success ; and we enter 
on it with the more unwillingness, that we are alike afraid of 
making too much, and too little of it. In an analysis of his 
Reports on the Navigation of the Euphrates, which appeared in this 
Journal last year, he has found a doubt expressed, as to the extent 
of river which he himself examined ; and also a disposition, as he 
thinks, to place his account of it in invidious comparison with that 
of a previous traveller. He has, accordingly, criticised that 
analysis, in a private communication to the Council of the Royal 
Geographical Society, with some warmth of feeling ; and thus 
compels us to offer explanations which we should otherwise think 
unnecessary. That the article in question was not meant to injure 
him, he himself readily admits ; and that it has not done so seems 
best proved by his present triumph over much more formidable